Shopping In India
India is known as a great tourist
destination. What is equally true is that India is also an exciting shopping
destination. After finishing their refreshing tour of this colourful land,
tourists must not forget to take home some of India's best buys. It is also
a country where there are markets for all class groups. For the rich and
fashionable, there are gorgeous air conditioned malls. The general public
can visit the attractive road side shops or open markets where hard
bargaining is a feature. But the best thing about shopping in India is that
every state has something exclusive and unique to offer.
In these pages, we shall highlight the best buys of some India states.
and Kashmir :
Kashmiri handicrafts and handlooms have gained popularity
all over India and even abroad for their exquisite craftsmanship. The
carpets of Kashmir, made both in wool and silk with Persian designs are
among the most beautiful products of the state. The pure woolen products of
Kashmir, mainly the Kashmiri shawl would also be a good investment. Other
woolen items include sweaters, jackets and caps. The famous Pashmina shawl
of Kashmir is rarely available nowadays. There are also items like jewellery
boxes, mirror frames, a range of intricately carved walnut wood furniture
and accessories and stone jewellery boxes that also figure prominently in
the list of best buys.
Kashmir also has a flourishing agro products industry. The apples
cultivated in Kashmir are among the best apples in India. The main places of
tourist attraction like Srinagar, Jammu, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Leh shall be
interesting places to shop in the state. The best varieties shall be
available in Srinagar and Jammu.
Himachal Pradesh :
The tiny Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh
located below Jammu & Kashmir is another great shopping destination.
Woolen items belonging to the hill stations of Himachal are among the best
buys of the state. The markets also display well designed Tibetan carpets.
Wooden articles, toys and metal works of the place are also very attractive.
Like Kashmir, agro products of Shimla like jams and squashes are also worth
buying for their taste and freshness.
The main shopping destinations are Shimla, Kullu and Manali. Main shopping
areas in Shimla are The Mall, Lower Bazaar and Lakkar Bazaar.
is one Indian state that can safely be termed as a shoppers paradise. The
gifted artisans of the state are renowned for their exquisite range of
products. What keeps the shopping list of Rajasthan continuously increasing
is the fact that the various cities offer something of their own. If Jaipur
offers Jaipuri quilts, tie-dye textiles, block printed textiles and semi
precious stone jewellery,
the list in Jaisalmer consists of embroidery works, mirror work, rugs,
blankets and beautiful antique pieces. Silver jewellery and carpets made
from camel hair are also popular. Jodhpur offers to the tourist silver
jewellery, leather goods, carpets and durries, textiles and furnitures.
Infact, Jodhpur is also an important centre for imports and exports. The
central shopping place of Jodhpur is known as Ghasmandi Bazaar. Rajasthan's
shopping list is so vast that tourists may feel exhausted after having a
round of the markets!
A haven for
beach holidaying, the sea shell products of the state obviously come on top
of shopper's list. The artisans of Goa are experts in making showpieces out
of natural stuff like coconut husk or palm leaves. The various wooden
articles of Goa are also very exquisitely made. It would not be wrong to say
that crafts of the state have their own distinct stamp of identity.
Uttar Pradesh :
The huge Indian state of Uttar Pradesh does not let
down tourists either. Delicate chikan works of Lucknow, wood carvings of
Saharanpur, the hand-knitted woolen carpets of Bhadoi and Mirzapur,
terracotta of Gorakhpur, brassware of Moradabad, glassware of Firozabad and
hand printing works of Farrukhabad are among the best buys of the state.
Among the best buys of Bihar are decorative pieces made out
of stone and bead-jewellery. Local handicraft and handloom products of the
state also pull tourists. It would be a let down if tourists come to Bihar
and fail to taste Tilcoot-a kind of sweet famous all over the state.
Orissa is also known as a great shopping destination. The
silverworks of Cuttack, glorious hand woven fabrics of Sambalpur, the
intricate paintings of Raghurajpur and coloured wall hangings of Pipli form
the core of Orissa's shopping list. Also in demand are the 'Ikat' fabrics
and sea shell works of the coastal areas.
In Assam and the other states of North East, raw materials
in the form of cane and bamboo are extensively used in making most products.
The traditional handloom and handicrafts of Assam are becoming increasingly
popular in the national markets. Sarees made of pat and muga are exclusive
only to this state. The brass metal and bell metal works of some of the
lower Assam villages are creditable. Sualkuchi and Sarthebari are two such
places. Guwahati, the capital city is the best place to shop. Maligaon.
Just like Assam, the crafts and looms of Nagaland also
have a distinct identity of their own. The exquisite hand woven shawls of
various tribes popularly called the Naga shawls, Naga mekhelas (Sarongs) and
Naga hand bags have also found markets abroad. Other attractive items made
in the state include beads, baskets and hats made of cane and bamboo. Most
tourists love to pick up a pair of Naga decorative spear to adorn the walls
of their homes. To suit the taste of foreign tourists, young fashion
designers of Nagaland are bringing traditional outfits in new looks.
West Bengal :
West Bengal also stores many shopping attractions for
tourists. Chinese shoes, jewellery and handmade ceramics are among the best
buys of the state. The state is also famous for textiles including khadi
kurtas and special Bengali sarees. It may be mentioned that West Bengal is
most famous for making delicious sweets. Though perishable goods are never
high on the agenda of shoppers, the delicious Bengal sweets force tourists
to make amends.
Andhra Pradesh :
Andhra Pradesh is a state synonymous with pearls.
Attractive pearls studded in gold and silver jewellery are a speciality
here. Kalmakarithe hand painted fabric of the state is another item
worth picking up. Another unique painting variety is Nirmal painting, done
using dyes to create memorable scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Hyderabad, the capital city is called a shoppers paradise. Hyderabadi
specialities include pearls, glass and jewellery. Bidriware is another item
exclusive to Hyderabad. Women can invest in the beautiful Kat saris in
The southern state of Kerala also offers a lot to shoppers.
The handicraft items of the state are very exquisitely made. But Kerala is
best known for her coir products which are regarded as world class. Various
items like carpets, mattresses and wall hangings are made of coir. The
artisans of Kerala also put great effort in making hand woven clothes. Sea
shell works of the coastal areas and metal works of the state's northern
parts are also worthy of investment.
Tamil Nadu :
Tamil Nadu offers an attractive combination of
traditional and trendy merchandise such as carvings on brass, stone, wood
and ivory, leather bikinis, bags and shoes. Some of the cities of Tamil Nadu
have their own distinct products. To cite examples, Tirunellveli is popular
for pattamara mats, Tanjavur for metal works, Kumbakonam for bronze and
brass castings while Kanchipuram for items of silk.
Shoppers should keep in mind certain things while shopping in India. Unlike
many foreign countries, all the markets in India do not display fixed price
products. In the shopping malls, branded showrooms, departmental stores and
government emporiums, products displayed are normally fixed priced. But in
other shops and roadside markets, bargaining is a feature of shopping. Hard
bargaining may take place before settling at the final price. Some
shopkeepers also quote exorbitant prices to foreign tourists. It may also be
mentioned that credit or debit cards are not acceptable in all market
places. It is the traditional way of buying against currency notes that
still prevails. Some shopkeepers may also show reluctance in issuing
receipts. All these facts should be kept in mind to avoid problems and turn
the shopping experience into a memorable one.